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Archive for March 2012

Change to FSSR after consultation with Govt, panels, indicates Chandramouli

K Chandramouli, chairperson, FSSAI (Food Safety & Standards Authority of India), has indicated the Tamilnadu Foodgrains Merchants Association Ltd that a change in the August 5-implemented Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2011 could be possible after due consultation with the government, scientific committee and scientific panels.

He gave this assurance while speaking to the association representatives at a protest organised by them in Chennai on Wednesday. While the association is keen for an early solution to the issue, the entire consultation and review process for the amendment is likely to take at least 19 months.

Shankar, secretary, Tamilnadu Foodgrains Merchants Association Ltd, explained FnB News over the telephone, “The Act will force small and medium level food business operators out of their business. Hence, we are seeking few changes in the Act, so that it will help small food business operators.”

He added, “In the current format, the Act will only help multinational companies. Further, India is a vast country and climatic conditions differ from region to region, so the food and agricultural products will differ. Therefore, there should be changes made to the Act.” The association is also seeking a shorter and quicker review process.

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Food Safety Body Offers Support to Indian Food Importers & retailers

 

The day two of the Images Food & Grocery Forum India 2012 saw an interactive session between food importers and an official of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Called “The FIFI Conclave: The Force Behind Unifying Gourmet Food Importers and Alignment with Modern Retail,” the event saw the FSSAI Deputy Director AIS Kumar discuss the latest food safety regulations and FBO registrations with the importers and retailers of imported food.

Kumar reassured the assembled audiences that all problems of the food importers and retailers will be taken care of by the government in due course of time in terms of getting licenses, permits, etc. “Please have patience. We are on your side,” he said.

Amit Lohani, Convener, FIFI (Forum of India Food Importers), noted that modern trade is a still a very small part of India’s retail industry. Of this, gourmet is even a more miniscule part. “Though we are competitors as importers, we approach FSSAI, a single body on the platform of FIFI, to present a united front,” he said, speaking on behalf of the food importers.

Sumit Saran of SCS Group said: “The buzz around the Images Food & Grocery Forum India 2012 shows the growing importance of this sector. India, if it has to feed its people, will have to import food. The sooner we realise, the better for all of us.”

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Food Safety Act: Traders are facing difficulties in getting license

Chandigarh: As mandatory in the Food Safety Act to obtain license, Chandigarh Trade Association had requested the administration to extend the last date of submission for licence by three months. But the administration has not cleared its stand on the same.

It is to be noted that in case of not having the license, there is a provision of seven year imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 5 Lac.

The traders are in panic. There are around fifty thousand traders in the city and issuance of licence in such a short period is next to impossible.

As per the Food Safety Act, it is necessary to have license but traders are facing lot of problem in getting the license.  Even though Saturday was a holiday, but after the instruction from administration the Sector 22 situated Community Health Center was open to issue licenses to traders.

Market Association President Naresh Pradhan said, “The traders start making queues as early as 6 am in the morning, but because of the absence of staffs, their turn come after long wait. The traders are facing lot of difficulties due to this.”

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The Expert’s Thought: Government and the competent authorities should set up a mechanism where the license delivery system would be simple and easy thus causing less chaos among seekers.

“Keep the Food Safety and Standards Act in abeyance”

The government should keep the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act in abeyance for three years so as to give time to frame rules that would not harm the domestic industry. In its present form, the FSS Act would favour only multinational companies and strike the death knell for the indigenous industry, said S. P. Jeyapragasam, president of Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association, on Friday.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Jeyapragasam said that the definition for ‘adulteration’ was not clear in the FSS Act. In a country like India, it would be difficult to produce ingredients for food products with uniform quality.

The Act stipulated standards that were prevalent in 1954, he claimed and said that agricultural practices had changed over the decades through infusion of technology, fertilizers and pesticides. It took six months to grow paddy in 1954 but it was now possible to harvest the crop in 90 days.

Mr. Jeyapragasam said that the enforcing authorities in the State lacked clear knowledge of the Act and familiarisation programmes were being conducted for them now.

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The Expert’s Thought: We as a firm thinks that there is no wrong in the Law framework but it is struggling because of poor management, low expertise among employees and no people engagement.

 

 

Food Safety Act hits roadblock

KOCHI: The state government, which has set August as the deadline to fully implement the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) 2006, is confronted with various constraints like resource crunch, staff shortage and lack of infrastructure, which are making it hard to set the ball rolling.
“Though the Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA) 2006, came into force on August 5 last year, the government has been in a transition period, with the hope of implementing the Act in totality by August this year. However, at the pace the government is moving, it seems unlikely that the Act will be fully implemented on time,” sources in the office of the Commissioner of Food Safety, said.
They said that if things moved at the present pace, then it would take another year to implement the Act in the state.
“One of the major constraints is the severe shortage of adequate staff and law enforcement officials,” sources said and added that even the Food Safety Commissioners, who have to be of secretary rank, are yet to be appointed. Those who are now at the top post have been given only additional charges, they pointed out.
The Expert’s Thought: The Law is meant for protecting the Largers interests of the consumers and hence it should not be a Victim of politics.